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NEW AGE PAYING Part 1: New Age expenditure questioned

NEW AGE PAYING Part 1: New Age expenditure questioned

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister for Communications, Gavin Davis, has accused Communications Minister Faith Muthambi of wasting tax payer’s money after an investigation revealed that the Department had spent R10.2-million of government advertising in The New Age newspaper during the 2013 / 2014 financial year.

“The only explanation for the disproportionate adspend on The New Age is that it is owned by the politically-connected Gupta family, and because it’s editorial stance is unashamedly pro-Zuma,” Davis said in a statement on the party’s website.

He added that the amount equated to 11.2% of all government ad expenditure across 248 publications, and that it was roughly the same as what was spend on advertising in The Sowetan, which has a readership of 1.6-million versus The New Age’s153 000.

Similarly, Davis also stated that ad space in The New Agecame to R2.3-million more than that of the Daily Sun“even though the readership - at 5.3 million - is 35 times more”.

“When The New Age was launched, many feared that President Zuma and those close to him would use it as a propaganda tool. Since then, the President has set up his own Ministry of Propaganda headed by his loyalist Faith Muthambi,” said Davis, adding that the Minister must come clean on the reasons for spending “public money to prop up a pro-Zuma newspaper”.